Mayor: Lordstown future looking good

LORDSTOWN – With more than $7.2 million in income tax earnings collected in 2012, Mayor Arno Hill described the year as one of the best in the village’s history.

In 2011, the village collected $5.3 million in income taxes.

Hill in his state of the village address Monday attributed the majority of the income tax increase to increased production at the General Motors Lordstown Complex.

“It has three shifts working,” Hill said. “We just hope they keep selling Cruzes.”

Although remaining conservative in its spending, Hill said the village purchased a new vehicle for the zoning department and a new records system for the police department.

Police Chief Brent Milhoan said the department ordered the records management system in December and expects to receive, install and train on the software either in late February or early March. The village needed the $39,395 upgrade to be compatible with Trumbull County’s 911 system.

The village has nearly completed hooking up residents to the $11 million sanitary sewer system, Hill said.

“We probably have between 25 to 40 residents who don’t have connections to the sewer system,” Hill said.

The village moved its Board of Public Affairs clerk from the administration building’s first floor to its second floor with other department clerks.

Hill said he hopes to convince Village Council to open the city’s wallet a little wider this year in hopes of purchasing two police cars and two salt trucks.

“We also hope to get a significant amount of paving done on the village’s roads,” Hill said. “There are eight roads that we will be paving. We’re hoping to get the quality of our roads back up.”

“I’m very optimistic about 2013,” Hill said.

He also discussed the federal government turning over approximately seven acres of the former Kunkle Reserve Center to the village.

“Due to government rules, we must use the property for public purposes,” Hill said. “We are exploring our options about how to use the property.”

Hill is hoping the federal government will be able to sell 160 acres of property that was turned over to it by General Motors under the RACER Trust program formed in 2011. The trust helps in the environmental cleanup and sale of former GM properties given to the government as part of the automaker’s bankruptcy.

RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history.

“We are fortunate the majority of RACER property in Lordstown does not need environmental remediation,” Hill said.

The property is located on state Route 45, north of Hallock Young Road.

Dale Grimm, the village’s street supervisor, reported that thanks to a road use maintenance agreement signed between the county and Halcom Resources, a bit more than three miles of Highland Avenue and Brunstetter and Hallock Young roads will be resurfaced and repaved at no cost to the village. The company has a gas well on the Kimbler property on Hallock Young Road.

“This will save the village some repair and maintenance costs,” Grimm said.

Also Monday, council elected John Mansell to be its president.